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Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

A 2009 action movie directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak

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The Worst Movie In Years

  • Jun 28, 2009
  • by
I very rarely do this with my reviews, but to save you the time of reading about everything wrong with this movie, I'll give you a couple of words to sum it up at the start. This was just awful, really awful. In fact, it was so awful I would rather sit through a 1 and a half hour Matthew McConaughey movie. Now that brief hatred is over, I'll begin to tell you just exactly what I hated about this movie in separated paragraphs. Sort of like bullet points, only filled with 50% more hatred.

The Story: Despite what some of the official plot summaries will have you believe, this is not based on the popular video game franchise. This is simply a movie that has stolen a title and character names in order to try and get more people stupid enough to be drawn in and watch this movie. Unfortunately I was stupid enough. The movie starts with Chun-Li narrating her childhood as she witnesses her father be kidnapped by Bison with the help of his head goon, Balrog. A few years later Chun-Li comes into possession of an ancient Chinese scroll which inspires Chun-Li to find her true self.

Elsewhere, Bison is determined to take over Bangkok by firstly having the heads of the major criminal families murdered. Investigating Bison and the crime are cliché American cop types, Charlie Nash & Maya Sunee. She's the feisty pretty one, and he's supposed to be the charming cool type but just ends up coming across as an even more terrible version of Keanu Reeves. Many following events lead to Chun-Li meeting a man who will teach her all she needs to know about finding her true self and eventually seeking revenge on Bison

The Fights: Of course, if you have a movie labelled with the Street Fighter logo, you will be forgiven for expecting a plethora of heart pounding, adrenaline rushed fight sequences. This is why those involved in making this movie can't use the Street Fighter name without fear of a hateful backlash as the fights were just terrible. They were short, badly filmed, badly choreographed and used too many wire supported moves to be even considered credible. Worse still was it didn't even think to utilise the many cool moves the characters had made famous in the video games.

The Cast: OK, I'll admit that I can think of one good thing to say about this film and that is... I liked Neal McDonough as Bison and Michael Clark Duncan as Balrog. They seemed to look the part and if the movie makers didn't try their best to bring these characters and fit them into the real world, this movie could have worked on quite a few levels. Chris Klein as Nash was just horrible. I mentioned a more boring version of Keanu Reeves, and in retrospect, I think that was a bit cruel to Keanu Reeves. Chris Klein's performance in this movie can be used as a means of torture for Guantanamo Bay detainees. It can be used to interrogate suspected terrorists and can even be used to keep Rush Limbaugh at bay. Moon Bloodgood (WTF?) as Maya Sunee worked only as a decent amount of eye candy and nothing more. She served only that purpose and I think that if I were to indulge myself by watching just her scenes, I should fear that I may lose my sight.

The main character of Chun-Li played by Kristin Kreuk was all wrong. I would much rather they had gone for a Chinese born, little known actress than this talentless shard of disappointment. Her fight sequences were dreadful and it is understandable why they didn't last too long as it's obvious she wouldn't have been up for the task. Her narrations made me want to beat her to death with my shoe, or continuously hope that Balrog would get it over with and throw her off a cliff. She was horrible, just horrible. She didn't look the part, didn't act the part and did I mention that she was just horrible? There was one point where they had a go at making her look like her video game counterpart, but she just didn't and I think the director would have had to be a complete dimwit not to notice that, but obviously it will have been too late into the film to recast it, so they stuck with the garbage.

Oh and Taboo from Black Eyed Peas as Vega? What were they thinking?

There's so much that I could ramble on about how this movie is so terrible, but I just don't have the time. All you need to know is that this is possibly the worst movie of the last 5 years, and there's some tough competition for that reward. I believe that this was meant to be the start of a series but hopefully, the financial failure of this will ensure that any sequels will not happen. The Street Fighter franchise is something held dear in many hearts, and this will only seek to tarnish that image. If they had taken the idea of a new Street Fighter movie and kept it in the same bizarre, cartoon world of the games and created a storyline around that, then there's no doubting that it would have been massively enjoyable. I liked the original Van Damme Street Fighter movie, as it was camp, fun and kept itself in that world. It didn't contain an ego and think it could adapt the characters for a real world movie, the makers of the original kept it in that world and didn't let their ego's influence any insane belief that they could create a Street Fighter story that would fix itself in the real world.

Stay away from this, it's for the best.

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More Street Fighter: The Legend of ... reviews
review by . March 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
It's true that the 1994 Street Fighter movie from Steven De Souza was a crappy, transparent attempt to cash in. But at times like this, it's important to remember the good things about it. You have to give credit to De Souza for being able to recognize the fact that his movie was piggybacking a popular video game franchise in the hopes that gamers were as nerdy and stupid as his fourth- or fifth-hand knowledge of the medium told him. He was honest enough about it to write so that everyone would …
review by . February 27, 2009
The Legend of Chun-Li
As a child, Street Fighters was one of my favorite video games on Super Nintendo, and as one of few female in the game, Chun-Li was by far my favorite fighter, so when The Legend of Chun Li came out, I just HAD to see it.  I ended up catching the midnight screening, and, well, I was underwhelmed.      The movie started out strong, giving insight into Chun-Li's earlier life and showing her privileged childhood in Hong Kong, where she trained to be a concert pianist and was …
review by . July 04, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Dvd cover
   The awesome “Street Fighter” video game franchise was first brought to life by Hollywood in 1994 featuring a “cartoonish” Jean Claude Van-Damme, Ming Na-Wen, Kylie Minogue and Raul Julia as the despot named Bison. The movie was a disaster and it was no wonder why it failed miserably in the box-office. Hollywood should’ve taken pointers from Japan for “Street Fighter: The Animated Movie”, which was undeniably the best movie adapted from the franchise …
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
Bad casting, bad use of characters that are nothing like they're video game counterparts, not a lot of action and not enough characters from the series are used. Maybe thats a good thing since they too would have been mangled. More proof that if you want to adapt a comic or video game to a movie, know the source material first.
review by . August 29, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
For whatever reason, film adaptations of video games tend not to make good movies. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li follows this rule all to closely. The plot is pretty weak - basically Chun Li (Kristen Kreuk) fighting to save her father from Bison (Chris Klein), who oddly enough is an evil corporate gangster in a three-piece suit in the film - not the guy in the red military uniform from the game. Furthermore, Bison's alleged powers come from having transfered his conscience to his daughter …
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Steven Stewart ()
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Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li gives insight into Chun-Li's (Kristin Kreuk) life before becoming a fighter.  It shows her privileged childhood in Hong Kong, where she trains to be a concert pianist and is taught martial arts by her father.  Everything is great until her well-connected father is kidnapped by the evil M. Bison (Neal McDonough) and his henchmen.  Chun-Li ends up attending Julliard and does live her dream of being a concert pianist in Hong Kong.  However, after her mother passes, she becomes lost and feels like there's something more for her.  Eventually, she is guided to Bangkok, where she trains with Gen (Robin Shue).  Her new goals in life are to find her father and to take down M. Bison and his evil empire, who have wreaked havoc on the streets of Bangkok for much too long.

The origin story of the characters from Capcom’s popular Street Fighter video game is detailed in The Legend of Chun-Li, a live-action martial arts thriller from Doom helmer Andrzej Bartkowiak.Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk gives a spirited turn in the title role, a concert pianist turned global crime fighter who cracks her share of heads while in pursuit of the mobsters who have kidnapped her father. Neal McDonough and Michael Clarke Duncan glower effectively as Bison, the nefarious mastermind behind the abduction, and his henchman, Balrog, respectively. The film’s offbeat cast, which includes Chris Klein and Moon Bloodgood as ...
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Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Release Date: February 27, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: June 30, 2009
Runtime: 1 hr. 37 min.
Studio: 20th Century Fox Distribution, Twentieth Century Fox
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